A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Daniel Crawford, an undergrad at the University of Minnesota, has produced in collaboration with geography professor Scott St. George, a composition for string quartet using a method called “data sonification,” which converts global temperature records into a series of musical notes. The composition is called “Planetary Bands, Warming World,” and it’s based on temperature data gathered over time by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. As Crawford explains in the video, “Each instrument represents a specific part of the Northern Hemisphere. The cello matches the temperature of the equatorial zone. The viola tracks the mid latitudes. The two violins separately follow temperatures in the high latitudes and in the arctic.” Each note’s pitch “is tuned to the average annual temperature in each region, so low notes represent cold years and high notes represent warm years.” The time period covered here moves from 1880 to present.
Daniel Crawford: “Climate change is a defining issue of our generation.”